Botanical Code Article 71

John McNeill johnm at ROM.ON.CA
Thu Mar 16 01:33:48 CST 1995

On Wed, 15 Mar 1995, Bentivenga, Stephen P wrote:

> Hello Taxacomers -
> I am in the process of writing a monograph of the genus Gigaspora, and
> I have run into an interesting problem.  I plan to reject one species
> on the basis that it was described from heavily parasitized material
> which was altered to the point that taxonomic characters were not
> observable.

Alan Whittemore responded:

> Dear Steve,

> ......

> 2.  The inadequate holotype may be supported by designating an
> epitype.  This is a supplemental type specimen, to be used to clarify
> the application of a name when the original material is unidentifiable
> for any reason.  The epitype must be consistent with the characters of
> the holotype, so far as can be determined, and of course it should be
> clearly identifiable.  The name will then be fixed to the species that
> the epitype belongs to.
>         The epitype is new in the Tokyo Code; it is defined in Article
> 9.7.  An epitype is designated in the same manner as any other type,
> subject to the conditions mentioned in Art. 9.7.

Alan Whittemore makes a good point.  In my earlier reply to Steve
Bentivenga, I was assuming that he definitely wanted to reject the
species name, either because it had never been used or had been used in
various ways on account of the difficulty/impossibility of establishing
the identity of the parasitized type.  If the name has been consistently
used for a particular species, the new epitype concept allows it to be
fixed in this use, even although the original type is "useless".

Incidentally, in my first reply, I erroneously referred to the generic
name _Gigaspora_ as being rejected, when, of course, Steve was referring
to a species name within that genus.

John McNeill

From: John McNeill, Director, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen's Park,
      Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2C6, Canada.
      Tel.: 416-586-5639      Fax: 416-586-8044
      e-mail: johnm at  (or:  john at
ÿÿ    Re: Botanical Code Article 71                                           32

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